The companies with the most brilliant ideas in the market are not always successful. The story is full of examples. Because if it were otherwise, then for example Saab would still exist. The small, always innovative brand from Sweden peaked in the late 80 and early 90 years. Then came what may be termed democratization. There was a bit of Saab for everyone.
A little Saab for everyone.
This is the title of the Saab-Euro magazine in issue number 4 in the year 1991. The IAA in Frankfurt is history, the Swedes have shown with the 9000 CS the evolution of their successful upper-class model. And found that own innovations are increasingly found in vehicles of the competition. Audi introduces the new 100. The C4, which will later become the first A6, is an important step in the rise of the brand. And he has for the first time at the Ingolstadt a standard flank protection in the doors. A feature that has long been standard for Saab. And also Opel, Mitsubishi and VW follow suit. However, with many manufacturers, including almost all European premium suppliers, the flank protection is reserved only for the US market.
And while the Swedes 10 years before the aspheric curved mirrors install in series, he celebrates at Audi only with the new 100 its premiere. Also at VW, surcharge, in the new Golf. That Saab ideas spread to Ingolstadt, is no coincidence, because developers from the 9000 team have since moved to southern Germany.
Flank protection, pollen filter, belt tensioner.
Also the dust and pollen filter, in a Saab already since 1978 in series, spreads 91 on a broad front. BMW supplies the filter in the 5er with air conditioning as standard, for the new Golf III and Astra, after all, has a simple version. The Japanese? None. After all, Mazda celebrates the pollen filter for some models for retrofitting. And also the belt tensioner, available since 1989 at Saab and 1990 at Mercedes, presents itself to the IAA in the Astra and Golf III. However, not controlled by an explosive charge, but mechanically and thus cheaper.
Let's stay with Opel. The German supplier benefits from the fresh marriage with the Swedes and lends itself to turbo know-how. At the Hesse booth, 1991 is the highly acclaimed Calibra Turbo. 204 PS strong, 16 high-tech valves. Also eco-friendly with a Saab-developed, preheated lambda probe directly behind the exhaust manifold.
For some other details, the Swedes are still lonely, as the Saab magazine regretfully notes. The Latent heat storage, which reduces the pollutants dramatically at engine start, there are still only in a Saab. Likewise, the CFC-free air conditioning, the 1991 but already found at suppliers such as Behr Automotive, and will continue to spread in the following years.
A bit of Saab can still be found in every car today. At the Göta Älv, however, begins in the middle of the 90er years of slow descent. A prescribed forced descent, one must say. GM denies the necessary investments and tries to bring the Swedes in line. Not always with success. After the much noticed 900 II, the last hatchback with quite a few innovations, the new models are increasingly adapted to the mainstream. Limousine and station wagon instead of hatchback, the upper class operated with the expiry of the 9000 not more. Although the genius of the engineers shines through again and again, but not as impressively as in the early 90er years, when Saab ideas were distributed in a whole industry.